“Ask a Scientist” Program – A direct link between UTSW trainees and the public

This fall marks the beginning of the “Ask a Scientist” program, launched by SPEaC with open participation from a number of UT Southwestern trainees. The concept is simple: members of the public submit their questions directly to SPEaC during our outreach events and we answer them via YouTube videos made by members of the UTSW community. Questions have been submitted by children and adults, and they have included any science inquiry they want. All questions are valid; anything goes!

In order to make the video responses, we reached out to the greater UTSW community and looked for trainees interested in improving their science communication skills. The benefit of a program of this nature is that no two questions are alike, and we get to practice explaining scientific concepts to a broad audience. Trainees of all levels and areas of expertise have gotten involved, resulting in a boundless variety of response styles, which undoubtedly have sparked the creativity of our participants in order to tackle this challenge.

Looking forward, we wish to expand this program so we can receive question submissions from multiple different sources. We hope to set up a partnership with local schools and undergraduate institutions in order to respond to their inquiries as well. Furthermore, we aim to form a partnership with STARS, an initiative composed of multiple programs for the scientific development of high school students and teachers, for the upcoming spring and aid in their mission of scientific enrichment through our “Ask a Scientist” program.

To catch the latest “Ask a Scientist” videos follow us on Facebook!

Editor: Devon C.

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